There is this preconceived notion that students who go hundreds of miles away for college do not have a close relationship with their family. I mean why else would you distance yourself from them so much?
As someone who traveled 350 miles away from home, I understand the struggles (and benefits) of leaving your home for school. The number one question I was asked when I decided to go to school in Kentucky and not Michigan is, “Won’t you miss your family?”
While I do miss my family, I have such a close relationship with them that the distance doesn’t change anything. Every time I go home it’s like I never left.
With today’s technology, it’s so easy to check-in with parents, siblings, and even grandparents while never leaving your room. Between sarcastic texts with my mom, liking my cousins Facebook posts, and face timing with my grandma, I never feel out of the loop.
Sure, I may not be able to go home every weekend, but when you have so many forms of communication it’s not as bad as it would seem.
There are days where it gets hard and all you want to do is cuddle up in your bed at home and have a heart to heart with your mom, but you can’t. Those are the days where it becomes important to lean on your friends, who are basically family, to help you get through it. There are also days where I crave a home-cooked meal rather than the amateur meals I cook for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love the service dogs on campus that I can’t help but pet but all they do is remind me of my dogs back home.
With all of the things that I miss, it’s important to mention all of the things that I have gained while studying so far from home. I’ve learned to take care of myself physically, mentally and most importantly financially! While I’m still a full-time student, getting a job really helped me to feel independent and confident in myself as an adult.
Also, being far from my family has taught me to value my time that I do have with them. My vacations are filled with endless trips to visit different family members, and that is okay with me because I have to make the most out of my trips home.
Last, it has taught me that if I choose to move somewhere other than Kentucky and Michigan after graduation, I will be just fine. I don’t have to worry about where my future takes me because no matter where it is, I will make it work.
It’s important to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and for some (like me), going away to college is the best way to do that. I’ve created my own life for myself in Kentucky, but that doesn’t mean I will forget about my home in Michigan.